Petitions of Right Act 1860
|Long title||An Act to amend the law relating to Petitions of Right, to simplify the Proceedings, and to make Provisions for the Costs thereof.|
|Citation||23 & 24 Vict. c.34|
|Territorial extent||England and Wales; Ireland|
|Royal assent||3 July 1860|
|Commencement||3 July 1860|
|Repealed||1 January 1948|
|Repealed by||Crown Proceedings Act 1947, s. 39, Sch. 2|
The Petitions of Right Act 1860 (23 & 24 Vict., c. 34) was an Act of Parliament passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom that codified and simplified the process of obtaining a petition of right.
The Act preserved the right to proceed at common law, but gave an alternative remedy. The procedure was regulated by the 1860 Act, and in England also by rules made under the Act on 1 February 1862. The petition was left with the Home Secretary "for the consideration of His Majesty", who if he thought fit granted his fiat that right be done. The fiat was sealed in the Home Office and issued to the applicant who filed it in the central office of the High Court of Justice, and a sealed copy was served on the Treasury Solicitor, with a demand for a response on behalf of the Crown. The subsequent proceedings, including those as to disclosing relevant documents followed as far as possible those in an ordinary action. A judgment in favour of the applicant was equivalent to a judgment of amoveas manus ouster le main.
Costs were payable to and by the Crown. A petition of right was usually tried in the Chancery or King's Bench divisions but where the subject-matter of the petition arose out of the exercise of belligerent rights on behalf of the Crown, or would be heard in a prize court if the matter were in dispute between private persons, the applicant could at his option start his petition in the Admiralty Court. The Lord Chancellor could direct the hearing of petitions of right in that court even when not started there.
- [Anon.] (1860). The Public General Statutes passed in the Twentythird & Twentyfourth Years of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode. pp. pp207–214.
- [Anon.] (1911) "Petition", Encyclopædia Britannica
- Bradley, A.W. & Ewing, K.D. (2003). Constitutional and Administrative Law (13th ed.). London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-43807-1., pp770-771